‘Las Encantadas’

The Galápagos have long been nicknamed Las Encantadas, meaning the ‘enchanted’ or ‘bewitched’ isles.

This is thanks to a phenomenon that makes the land seem to magically appear and disappear in a fine mist, known locally as garua.

GALÁPAGOS TODAY

Exactly 100 years after the publication of Darwin’s book – the islands were declared a National Park by Ecuador. Soon came the concept of responsible tourism: to share the archipelago’s beauty without harming its fragile ecosystems. Much of the archipelago enjoys strong legal protection by UNESCO and the Ecuadorean government, and there are numerous projects to restore the native wildlife and ecosystems.

Visiting the Galápagos today is a lot easier for us than in times past. But unlike previous explorers, we aim to give something back to these remote and beautiful islands and – of course – make our visits as low-impact as possible.

Test your knowledge of the Galapagos Islands

In what year did Tomás De Berlanga set foot on the islands?

What is the name of Charles Darwin's famous book about the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands were formed by violent volcanic eruptions how many years ago?

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Experience The Midnight Sun

Imagine that the sun never set, that night never came, and the days were endless. This is actually a real phenomenon, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see it for yourself

The Global Seed Vault

In the remote High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, 1,300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, seeds from around the world lie dormant, safe, and secure in a biological Noah’s ark. 

Galapagos: A special bond

You might know the Galápagos are volcanic, but how exactly did they form and why did life come to flourish here?

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